Yes it was none other than Sam Newman, frocking up for some festive fun at Channel Nine Melbourne’s Xmas drinks for Publicity and Marketing clients.
Newman was in fine form, playing the role for several hours as guests lined up to sit on Santa’s knee.
He might not have been the most convincing Santa to ever visit Xmas, but he was a good sport, playing it up for photos. He was so amiable, some didn’t even know they’d just sat on Newman’s knee. Aided by his helper elf, Arthur, the two were a very raucous act.
Other guests at the event included Jules Lund, (the legendary) Pete Smith, Eddie McGuire, Livinia Nixon, Kelly Landry, James Brayshaw, Brett McLeod, Blair McDonough, and presenters from Kids WB. Publicity managers Heidi Virtue and Michelle Stamper, GTV9 manager Jeffrey Browne and Melbourne Programmer Len Downs along with sales executives were also there to thank the print, radio (and occasionally online) media in attendance.
Browne (pictured) said the network’s win in 18-49 and 25-54 (plus just being pipped in 16-39 by “Channel Simpsons“) was a great improvement from where the station was twelve months ago. The wins positioned Nine moving forward into 2009 and Browne listed a number of the titles to return including Underbelly, Ladette to Lady, Wipeout, 60 Minutes, The Mentalist, The Footy Show, Two and a Half Men, Farmer Wants a Wife, CSI, Sea Patrol, 20 to 1.